In America it is the season of Christmas. The familiar holiday carols are playing on the radio. The Christmas trees are decorated. The malls are full of shoppers hunting for gifts. And the calendar is full of holiday parties. The season is both a festive celebration and on the other hand, a stressful list of stuff to get done.
So how do we think about this season in the workplace? I think the words of the famous Christmas carol give us our direction – it is a season to remember both comfort and joy. It is a perfect opportunity to bring joy to the workplace – finding opportunities to laugh, celebrate, and enjoy our co-workers.
It is also a time to be sensitive to the people who are not in a position to enjoy the holidays – those going through a stressful time at home, divorce, loss of a loved one, illness, financial issues – to name just a few.
In light of this, I encourage you on bring some comfort and joy to your workplace this week…
- Bring in hot chocolate for everyone in your work group one morning.
- Pick a day for everyone on your team to wear holiday outfits. (I plan to wear my tacky Christmas sweater to the office this Friday.)
- Find a service opportunity to do as a group – buy children toys, work at a soup kitchen – get out in the community and bring some comfort to those less fortunate.
- Make a CD of your favorite holiday songs and pass it out to your co-workers.
- Write a note of thanks and appreciation to those who have helped you get your job done this year.
- Bring a fruit salad to work to balance all the candy and cookies.
- Stop by and offer words of encouragement to those going through a difficult time.
- Write a song or poem to celebrate the gifts of your co-workers. Perform it for the group wearing your Santa hat.
This season reminds us that both joy and comfort belong in our workplaces. As a leader, you serve your team well when you let them know that it is okay to have fun and it is important to comfort and encourage one another.
These are gifts that you can give all year long. I wish each of you the joy and comfort that you need this holiday season.